Last month, a new light came into my life in the form of an adorable and cuddly little Cockapoo named Teddy. He’s 11 pounds of pure sweetness and has made me oh so happy. But, this article isn’t about how much I love my dog (that’ll be an entire book), it’s about the tools I’ve needed to survive my first month of puppy parenting.
Aside from the no-brainers like food, bowls, and toys, there’s so much that is necessary for your pup to have a comfortable and happy life. First, a crate is so important when it comes to potty training. Teddy sleeps in his overnight and knows to hold his business until he is let outside in the morning. From there, I do the tried-and-true, “Good boy! You get a treat!” every time he does what he’s supposed to outside. Whether I’m just taking him in the backyard or we’re going for a walk, I bring his treat tote with that carries a handful of treats, as well as bags to clean up his business. This is perfect for walks as it can attach to the leash.
Next, I’ve found that his harness is incredibly important for walks and car rides. They’re designed to fit pups comfortably, and connecting the leash to a latch on the harness is much more comfortable for them than attaching to their collar. Teddy has an EcoBark harness, which is great for car rides as he also has a seat belt that attaches to the harness. This keeps him safe in the car (and out of my lap, which is where he prefers to sit in the car).
What I’ve also found useful are on-the-go items, including pop-up bowls that can be used for water and food. These are perfect for long walks as they are collapsible and can fit into a small bag and can just be filled with a water bottle or water fountain.
Another one of my favorite is his Kong chew toy, which is virtually indestructible (this is the blue toy in the above photo). This can be filled with peanut butter or an Easy-Squeeze treat, which makes it easy for Teddy to go in his crate at night and keeps him busy until he falls asleep.
Training and caring for a puppy is a lot of work and not for the faint-of-heart. However, the stuff above will make the experience a whole lot easier. In addition, I’d highly recommend a puppy training class. Teddy is currently taking them at PetSmart is learning about house-training, commands, and socializing.